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Gordon praised as 'rock for this organization'

@FlannyMLB
September 24, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- Every player that legendary Royals outfielder Alex Gordon played with always viewed him in the same fashion: He was their mentor. Gordon’s teammates weighed in after the seven-time Gold Glove Award winner officially announced on Thursday that he will retire after this season, his 14th with Kansas

KANSAS CITY -- Every player that legendary Royals outfielder Alex Gordon played with always viewed him in the same fashion: He was their mentor.

Gordon’s teammates weighed in after the seven-time Gold Glove Award winner officially announced on Thursday that he will retire after this season, his 14th with Kansas City.

“Gordo is someone who I have looked up to ever since I got drafted,” Royals first baseman Hunter Dozier told MLB.com. “The way he goes about his business on and off the field won’t ever be matched. He’s had an amazing career on the field, but the impact he has made on all of us off the field is far greater than anything he could have done on the field. We will truly miss him.”

And perhaps no one was closer to Gordon on the present roster than Whit Merrifield, who lockered next to Gordon for the past two seasons.

“A lot of players say, ‘I gave the game everything I had,’” Merrifield told MLB.com. “But nobody has been able to back that up like Alex Gordon. On the field and off, he’s been the rock for this organization for over 10 years. As I tear up writing this, I’ll never be able to put into words how much he has helped me grow as a baseball player and a man, but I am so fortunate to have been able to call him a friend these last five years.”

As for Gordon’s future, Merrifield said, “He tells me he is going to pick up golf now.”

Merrifield added he’s eager to beat his close friend on the links, then recalled a recent story about Gordon, who is legendary for never eating junk food or anything he didn’t consider proper fuel for his body.

“We had a birthday cake for Mike Matheny a few days ago,” Merrifield said. “So we said, ‘Gordo, have a piece of cake.’ And he wouldn’t do it. Not that he didn’t want to, but he is just so dedicated, even though he knew he was retiring. He just said, ‘Sunday night.’”

Closer Greg Holland is in his second go-round with Gordon as a teammate and still maintains the utmost respect for him.

“Absolutely, he had an influence on me,” Holland said. “He was always there for you. He was your friend.

“You could just watch his routine and hope to copy some of that.”

Here’s what other present and former Royals had to say:

Nicky Lopez: "Unbelievable career! Even though he came out of the 2nd best college in Nebraska. Thank you for leading the way and being a model of professionalism each and every day!#4EverRoyal

Former Royals manager Ned Yost: "Alex’s commitment to his teammates through his dedication and work ethic plus the way he played the game with everything he had every single day was unlike anything I’ve ever seen!! He was the perfect teammate!! Congratulations Alex!!”

Eric Hosmer: "Congrats #4 on one helluva career! @kcroyals start mapping out the statue plans #legend #captain

Salvador Perez: "Alex, you are more than a teammate, you are my brother. You’ve represented our team and Kansas City for the past 14 years better than [anyone]. I am going to miss you so much brother! May God continue to bless you in your next chapter. #4evergordon"

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.